With a handful of days left to impact sales goals, it’s no wonder that some sales professionals are feeling the heat and starting to sweat. According to a 2013 study from CSO Insights, two-thirds of companies are struggling with lead generation. More than 65 percent of companies surveyed are looking to improve new customer acquisition as a key driver for the year. And sadly, less than two-thirds are making quota. Sales professionals admittedly are raising their hands, asking for help with prioritizing and researching new accounts.
Many of us have been hearing about big data and the data deluge that both sales and marketing professionals are facing day in and day out. Heck, I’ve created a lot of content about big data and our CEO opened up about our transition away from hyping up ‘big data’. What’s more important, especially for sales leaders, is how the influx of data available is providing an opportunity to be much more informed about customers and prospects in ways that weren’t possible before. The insight that can be gleaned from the data is what sales professionals are looking for. Let’s take a look at a few sales prospecting tactics and the impact of data science to ensure success in the New Year.
The End of Random Smiling and Dialing
Some companies rely on hammering the phones and cold calling as many prospects as possible. Instead of dialing without a strategy, develop a call plan that leverages data science and can help the inside sales rep pinpoint who to call and the best time to call. Setting up trigger events is an excellent way to accomplish this. For e.g. say a company just opened a new office and hired one hundred new people. That company will most likely be more apt to purchase goods or services from a company that sells office supplies or technology. Setting up a trigger that lets the inside sales rep know that this is a good time call and inquire, makes the most out of both the inside sales rep’s and prospect’s time.
The Magic Formula for Email Success
Another popular acquisition tactic is to blend cold calling with email marketing in order to stand out from the pack. Sales professionals will ping their prospects, then follow up with a call or voicemail. An approach enriched by data science could help ensure that the emails that are getting sent are highly relevant and engaging. Andy Yeoman of LexisNexis (a Lattice partner) recently shared great advice on tapping news sources to be able to include hot topics and relevant talking points within sales reps emails.
Automated Marketing That Works
The foundation of marketing automation is the alignment of your marketing programs with your audience. Some campaigns could carry a mega price tag and marketers will want to ensure that they are investing those dollars with the prospects that are most likely to covert. By focusing on this, companies can ensure that the best dollars are being spent against the hottest opportunities and that they are nurturing everyone else within their database for sales to reach out to at a later time. This critical alignment of people to programs is something that data science can solve. For example, a company that is expanding will be opening new offices and have a need for new office supplies, IT equipment, etc. The standard marketing automation program would not provide this insight, but coupled with data science and predictive analytics, companies can take an advanced approach to lead scoring to ensure their marketing automation efforts are targeting the prospects that are most likely to buy.
What new sales prospecting tactics will you be experimenting with next year?